Malicious Compliance: "I Can;t Tell You... Unless You Ask Me!"


3MALFrom im_from_detroit, MaliciousCompliance

This one comes from a number of years ago, when I worked security for the most popular mall in the area. It was the mall of choice of college students, suburbanites, and mall-walkers alike. It at the time had 6 major retailers (5 with 2 floors), a full gym, and about 50 stores besides, not counting the food court and kiosks.

Now this day fell on a Friday that began one of the worst winter storms the state has seen in decades. It was so bad, that the city nearby declared a state of emergency. Anyone caught driving without a valid reason was given a ticket. Every cop car had a tow truck behind it, and in front of every cop car was a plow truck. Driving home after my shift, I spun out on the ice, going 30mph. The road was 100% straight and flat. It was REALLY bad, and people's safety was at stake.

Now, as anyone in the business knows, malls have contracts with their stores on how long to stay open for, and if they are not open during those hours, they can be fined. So, me working the closing evening shift before the night guy came by at 11pm, had a ton of people asking if they could close early, even before the storm hit. It was maybe 2PM at this point.

I of course radio the head of security asking him about it. He relays back that, mall management, who have already gone home for the day, have decided to see how bad it gets before making a decision.

Now, the director's shift ends at 2pm, but he decided to stick around to see how things went down. The Sargent was also on duty until 7pm, so it was the 3 of us (I think someone had called in sick that night, but I can't remember). As time went on, the mall became more and more deserted.

The director became more and more concerned. He was a true man of integrity, absolutely concerned and dedicated to the safety of the mall and its tenants. That mall management wouldn't take heed to his concerned tone over the safety of the mall, and fact that it was pretty much deserted of anyone who would care if a store is open, left him pretty depressed.

He finally left at 4PM, with the word from management being the following: "If anyone asks you, you can tell them yes, that they can close early. But don't go around telling everyone!"

RHU Characters 178It was total bullshit. The rain was turning into snow, and the weather had the temperature falling to 10 degrees in the span of 10 hours. With that, the director hung his head, and left. The Sargent, feeling useless as well, went to do paperwork he needed to get done, leaving the mall to me, to hold down my empty, ice covered fortress.

I however, had I different plan. I began walking the mall, stopping at every single store. If the manager wasn't already at the entrance waiting for me to come by, I would ask for them. The exchanges would look something like this:

Me: "Ask me if you can close early and go home."

Manager with confused look: "Why?"

Me in a flat tone: "Just do it."

Manager even more confused: "Can we close early?"

Me: "Yes you can."

Manager absolutely questioning what reality he was living in: "Why did you have me ask you?"

Me as I begin to walk away: "My orders from mall management are not to tell anyone unless they ask me."

Skullies smileWithout fail, their faces would contort, trying to make sense of what I just said, and furthermore, what I left implied. And, within 20 minutes, every single shop in the entire mall was closed. So I locked up the entrances, cleared out any wandering patrons, and retired to the dugout.

The Sargent left not too much longer, without any words shared. The tension and stress said enough. I moved my car right next to the service entrance for the office, and spent an hour and a half digging myself out once my shift came to a close.

The rest of the story:

My first shift after this was the midday on Monday, and I just so happened to catch the director as he walked out of the offices to the security dugout. As soon as he saw me, he broke into a rare smile, which he tried to cover up. He couldn't say anything while trying to hold back his laughter and remain professional, but I heard through Sgt. Grapevine that mall management were initially trying to call the director out on the mall closing when they said specifically not to tell people unless they asked.

Well, prior to this meeting, a number of still confused store managers talked to the director during his morning rounds. I'm told he laughed pretty hard, and was greatly relieved, that I had found a loophole. So, when mall management tried to call him out, he was able to, with a mostly straight face, relay to them that we had indeed only told people they could close when they asked. Thing was, I went around telling everyone to ask me.



Fitting Room Nightmares: Nasty Ass Thieves Steal A Jacket


Fitting room nightmaresFrom thisiswhatsbestTalesFromRetail

Just when I thought I would never have anything to share. This just happened less than an hour ago and I'm still a bit shaken up.

Minor background: I work in retail. The place prides itself on customer service. We do 2 minutes fitting room checks, smile and greet everyone, and basically annoy the crap out of people who would rather be left alone. Anyways, on to the story.

So I'm nearing the end of my shift and these two guys come in. My coworker and I both notice how sketchy they seem. They just don't fit in. He starts a room for one of them, taking the items and holding a fitting room. And I let the other guy into his room after counting the number of items.

Me: so let's see, you have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 items. And your name?

L: it's L.

Me: Well L, let me know if you need anything. (Cue the retail smile)

So I let L have some time in the fitting room, I hover processing things to put back on the floor. And I see him set out of the room, "looking" for other things. I do a quick check to make sure everything is still there. He put 2 jackets on our rolling rack and there's still 3 things in the room. Still have 5, we're good.

He and his friend continue to dart in and out of their rooms. This next part I only hear about from one of my other coworkers. We'll call her J.

J: (knocks on door)

L: I just need fucking silence.

J: how you doing in there?

L: I just need you to leave me the fuck alone.

Nasty Ass ThievesJ: I just need you to get the fuck out.

I love J, there no way she'd get fired for saying that and she's just a beast. But a couple minutes later he leaves the room, seemingly with nothing. I go in and check, there should be 3 items in there. Nope, only 2. Damn it...

I let my manager know as well as our security guard. We double check everywhere to try to find the sales tags, nowhere. Well, L sits down on one of our couches. 8:30 rolls around and the security guard locks the doors as we are closed. He wanders over to L and asks to look in his bag. Brown paper bag, nothing in it. He asks to look into the backpack, nope L won't let the security guard look in there.

As this is happening another customer is leaving. J goes to let them out and as she does the alarm starts to go off because she has store keys on here. L sees it as an opportunity and bolts for the door.

What happens next was just a big mess. He shoves his way through the door, stepping on J, our security guard tries to restrain him, J is just trying to get out of the way and get out. L tries to blame J saying she's stealing something. Yeah dude she works here. She apparently rips his brown shopping bag at some point but he makes it out of the store. Next thing I remember I hear a loud thump and I see out security guard wrestling L against our window. Then they all take off, including L's friend.

From what I heard L threw his backpack at his friend and they ran in opposite directions.

We weren't able to recover the jacket he took. But there's no way he's ever getting back into the store.



Bad Parents: "You Should Have Been Watching Him!"


Bad parentsFrom: sherlockity

I work inside a shopping center in the city; we are a retail store that specializes in selling children's clothes, so newborn to 14 years. As we are a kid's clothing store, in the back corner we have a coloring table as well as a TV playing a kid's movie. Normally parents will leave their toddlers at the table and shop around the store, bring things to the table to try them on and what not. Our store is fairly large and during peak hours we have four assistants on.

Anyways, the other day- this lady (let's call her Shouldn'tBeAMum) walks up to one of my colleagues and asks if she (lets call her A) has seen her son.

A: "No, madam I haven't seen your son, what is he wearing I am happy to help you search for him."

Shouldn'tBeAMum: "I left him at the kids table and now he isn't there!"

A: "Don't worry madam, I am sure his just playing instead the tent or hiding in the change room, let's see if we can find him. When was the last time you saw him?"

Shouldn'tBeAMum: "Like two hours ago, when I left to go buy something at [department store]."

A: "Are you sure his still in the store and not at [department store]?"

Skullies smileShouldn'tBeAMum: "No, I specifically left him here so he could watch the movie! And now he is missing and it is all YOUR FAULT. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING AFTER HIM! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT NOW, BY POOR BABY IS LOST AND I CAN'T FIND HIM! WHY DIDN'T YOU KEEP AN EYE ON HIM, ISN'T THAT YOUR JOB?!"

A: "Madam, we are just a clothing store, we don't really look after children, perhaps you should try the kid's playground across the center?"


M: "Madam, what seems to be the problem?" (She overhead the whole thing; I am sure the whole shopping center overhead the whole thing)

Shouldn'tBeAMum: SHE DIDN'T KEEP AN EYE ON HIM- I ONLY LEFT HIM HERE FOR TWO HOURS- AND NOW [cries and sniffles] I don't know where he is... [more cries]

Carolanne and JasonM: "I understand that you are feeling quite distressed at the moment because your son is missing, my colleague B has already alerted security and they are coming up right now to get a statement off you and help you find him. In regards to any future visits to our store, I would like to remind you that we are a retail store and not a babysitting service. My assistants aren't here to babysit your kids as you shop. If you don't like to shop with your kids- please them at home conversely don't have kids at all."

If Shouldn'tBeAMum was pissed before about losing her kid- she actually seemed more interested in having a screaming match about losing her kid then taking steps to find him- then she was about to blow her head off after what my manager said.

Security: "Madam, I got a report for a missing child?"

Shouldn'tBeAMum: "Yes, my baby is missing and its all A's fault."

Security: "How is it A's fault madam?"

Shouldn'tBeAMum: "Because I left him here when I went shopping but when I came back he wasn't here anymore. She was in charge of looking after him- the store has a responsibility to look after him whilst he is in here."

Security: "The responsibility of a child lies with the parents and not shop assistants- although apparently, the responsibility lies with me today because [kid's name] has been sitting in my office for the last 1.5 hrs!"

Shouldn'tBeAMum had the decency to look embarrassed when she walked off with the security guard to pick up her kid.




RHU Pet Peeves: Watching The Wrong People


Carolanne cover mouthFrom: Surleyq

Where I work thieves are allowed to walk out of the store unapproached. This, at least, has understandable safety reasons behind it...

However, the majority of the security cameras are pointed at the staff! And I do mean majority; I've seen the security monitor. A few displays of high end merchandise take up the remaining cameras' attention.


if I knew then [before I worked here] what I know now, I’d just come in to steal blatantly. It's not like any of the cameras would ever catch MY face. *eyeroll*




Security Heaven: Missing The Old Days


Nasty Ass ThievesFrom: Marvinator

When I worked retail back in the dark ages, we had a Security guard who wore a sidearm. (These days, they cannot.)

He came into my store once after a group of guys had come through and I was sure my pipe shop was missing a lighter. He went and found the NAT's and TALKED them into coming back to my store, where he actually felt the guys coat and pockets and found the lighter. (The kid didn't even smoke!)

Another time, some kids came into the mall on their bikes, leaving marks on the floor. The guard caught them and told them that he was going to take them to get some cleaning materials and they could clean the floor. The kids start whining about how he can't do that and they'll run.

He looks out the door of the mall and unsnaps his gun. "I think you can make it to about the second row of cars before I bring you down..."

First Kid says to Second Kid: You think he'd do it?

Second Kid: I know he'd do it.

They cleaned the floors. Ya gotta love good security. I rather miss those days.